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Self drive or Safari company

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:43 am

Hi Jeff,

Hope you've come right. I mailed you my American friend's email addr. Please ask him what he thought and would he would suggest.

Cheers
666
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jsmathematics
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Is just showing up & self driving doable?

Unread postby jsmathematics » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:14 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for reading our posting. We are flying into Johannesburg in August for about a week & a half. Is it smart to just show up & self drive Kruger NP? Should we book a certain number of days at the park? How many? Should we book accommodation inside the park or outside the park? Is it all safe? The cost of hiring a car ($200/day???!!) will still be cheaper than going with a safari company? Thanks so much for any tips you have!

Julie & Jason

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Loams
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Unread postby Loams » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:18 pm

Book, and book ASAP. Some places are fullly booked eleven months ahead.... Self drive is much better and you should stay for at least a week if you can.
Is it Safe? Well as long as you stay in your car when you are supposed to..... ;-)
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DinkyBird
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:19 pm

Hi jsmathematics (Julie & Jason)
Perfectly safe to self drive and that is a good option. But you really must book as soon as you can. Once you are in the Park you can try and change your bookings but at least you will have a place to sleep should the bookings fill up (which is very likely).

There is a Mathematics conference in the Park in August.....just being nosey I know but your forum name is very interesting...

Edit: And welcome to the forum. There are lots of useful tips posted here - and please ask for any other info you might need!

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saraf
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Unread postby saraf » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:25 pm

Easily doable - yes. In fact I have a hard job convincing people here how easy it is.

Just show up - Probably not. Recommended advice on here is usually to book in advance if you want to stay in a specific rest camp. Once you are in the park you might be able to change your reservations.

Safe - yes, if you use common sense and follow the rules.

Cost - we usually find it cheaper and actually quite enjoyable - I get such a kick out of spotting animals/birds for myself. Try a guided evening or morning drive from one of the camps, though as they are usually very informative.

I'm sure others who have a more photographic memory than me will be able to give you links to threads and pages that will be able to give more specifics.

Welcome to the forum and enjoy your holiday.

jsmathematics
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Thanks so much!

Unread postby jsmathematics » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:29 pm

Wow. OK, so we should book accommodation inside the park through SANParks for a week? Do you know what the math conference is about? We are both "math people," a math teacher & an educational math software person/math state test writer.

Thanks again,
Julie & Jason :-)

jsmathematics
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Specific camps to stay at?

Unread postby jsmathematics » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:35 pm

Any recommendations on specific camps to stay at for a week?

Thanks again!

J & J

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Toddelelfe
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Re: Specific camps to stay at?

Unread postby Toddelelfe » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:40 pm

Take two camps. One in the south, one in the middle.
In the south skukukuza is like a small town. Sometimes very busy. Or take Lower sabie. Smaller, but really nice and in a good location.
In the middle i prefer Letaba. Very lovely camp, with an elephant museum. Or take Olifants.

Have a nice trip.
:hmz: Thinking about the next trip :hmz:
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Loams
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Unread postby Loams » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:41 pm

Depends where the "math conference" is I am sure ;-)

Satara is great, anywhere South for a first timer. First acquire the taste, the become a "northener"
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jsmathematics
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4x4 needed?

Unread postby jsmathematics » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:54 pm

Thanks everyone.

We might skip the math conference on our vacation!

Is a 4x4 needed?

J & J

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:06 pm

Hi jsmathematics and welcome to the forum:

One of the great things about KNP is that you self-drive. That way, when you find something that interests you, you can stay at that spot as long as you like.

Booking your KNP accommodation is essential. If you are going to stay in the park a full week, you can probably manage 3 different camps and explore the southern and middle part of the park. If you are driving from Johannesburg it will take you 4-5 hours to get to Nelspruit, which is a good place to buy supplies before entering the park. The larger camp shops also have supplies, but the price outside the park is generally better and you'll have a better choice of produce. There are also restaurants at the larger camps, but one of the nicest things to do in the park is to braai (barbeque) and eat outside whilst listening to all the night sounds.

For car rental, let me recommend the consolidator AutoEurope (autoeurope.com), which usually has the lowest prices. They use Avis in SA and I have used them there before. A simple sedan is fine even for the gravel roads in the park, tho if you want to be higher up (bit better for game viewing), you might want to go for something like the Condor. Have a look at the range AutoEurope offers. I think you'll find their pricing very reasonable, too.

Definitely take a sunset or night drive and perhaps a morning drive as well, as going out with a good ranger will help you in learning how to spot game on your own. My own feeling from my previous trips to KNP is that it would be hard to NOT see lots of animals. Often they are right in the middle of the road.

Have a good browse through these forums as you'll find lots of very useful tips and information. As for good camps, there is a thread somewhere on best camps for first time visitors. A possible itinerary might be to enter at either Malelane or Croc Bridge and stay first at Lower Sabie, then move on to Satara and end up at either Olifants or Letaba, exiting at either Orpen or Phalaborwa gates. Where you will enter and exit will in part depend on your needed travel time to and from the park.

You've already gotten some good replies and I'm sure you'll get many more. Be sure to keep asking questions and to report back after your visit. Have a great trip!!

jsmathematics
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Drives with rangers

Unread postby jsmathematics » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:26 pm

Thanks again for all the tips.

Do you need to book these drives with the rangers that I am hearing about?

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arks
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Re: Drives with rangers

Unread postby arks » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:28 pm

Yes, you can book them at the same time as you book your accomodations. Sometimes you can book them after you arrive, but esp at the larger camps, it's probably a good idea to book drives, bush braais, bush walks, ahead as they often fill up.

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bert
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Re: Drives with rangers

Unread postby bert » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:53 pm

For the bushbraai it might be difficult
We could only book at the camps
And in both occasions we were turned down
We were the only party :shock:
And i thought they were populair :?:
And minimum of 4 is needed

Try to do it again

Bushwalk we prebooked from LS
We were the only two :!:

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Unread postby cougar » Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:38 am

Welcome J & J. My wife and I will also be taking our first trip to KNP from Aug. 22-31. Maybe we will see you?

We will be flying into Nelspruit and self-driving. I found that Hertz had the least expensive car rental rates--although I did not know about the AutoEurope option that "arks" referred to earlier. I'm curious to see which is the least expensive.

The forum folks have helped out with my trip a lot. I would recommend you check out the "Recommended Reading" topic of the forum if you're interested in learning more about what you're about to see.

Enjoy.


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